Discovery Kids / American Public Television
Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network ruled kids' TV shows, but there was another channel '90s kids grew up watching. Discovery Kids, now known as Discovery Family, created some fantastic shows that held their own against the main TV players.
Former Disney Channel and DCOM actors Corbin Bleu, Johnny Pacar, Ashley Leggat and Michael Seater were all featured on the network, as was Steve Irwin and his family. Crocodiles, wormholes and ghosts, oh my!
"Flight 29 Down"
After surviving a plane crash, a group of kids were stranded on a desert island. It was basically "Lost" for kids and teens, starring Corbin Bleu and Johnny Pacar. One cool aspect of the show was the first-person video diaries all the characters made to describe the drama that went down on the island.
"Darcy's Wild Life"
Starring a young Sara Paxton as Darcy Fields, "Darcy Fields" found a spoiled girl removed from her Malibu lifestyle and tossed into the country. Darcy worked at a veterinary clinic called Creature Comforts where she dealt with various types of animals.
Based on the work of cartoonist Jay Stephens, the animated show followed Tutankhensetamun (Tutenstein for short), a kid mummy who was clearly a nod to real life Egyptian Tutankhamun, aka King Tut. After being accidentally woken from his 3,000 year slumber, Tutenstein came to grips with the fact that he was, um, dead, and his king was no more.
"The Screech Owls"
YTV / Discovery Kids
My personal favorite DK show, "The Screech Owls" was based on the book series by Roy MacGregor. It followed a peewee hockey team that seemed to always find themselves in the middle of some mystery. Murder, kidnapping and terrorism were the usual for these kids. Also, if you didn't have a crush on William Greenblatt, who played leader of the group Travis Lindsay, you're lying to yourself.
"The Saddle Club"
ABC / Discovery Kids
Based on the book series by Bonnie Bryant, three girls competed in equestrian competitions while juggling the daily struggles of being a young teenage girl. There were plenty of horses and a lot of drama.
"Real Kids, Real Adventures"
On "Real Kids, Real Adventures," actors reenacted terrifying situations based on the real-life stories of kids, including shark attacks, falling through ice, and rescuing people from a burning building. Each episode featured different characters, including a young Ashley Leggat (pictured above) from Disney Channel's "Life with Derek."
YTV / Discovery Kids
Christina Broccolini and Araya Mengesha explored real-life mysteries involving creepy crawlies and things that go bump in the night, including monsters, UFOs and ghosts. A third main character, Doubting Dave, was the show's voice of reason, explaining why these bizarre phenomena were probably happening.
"Truth or Scare"
Not gonna lie, this show freaked me out when I was a kid. Hosted by Michelle Trachtenberg, the "Harriet the Spy" actress introduced paranormal stories and cases, which were then dramatized in spooky episodes.
After Jennifer "Scout" Lauer was forced to move from New York City to South Africa, she experienced major life changes, including befriending Bongani, a member of the Zulu people.
"Time Warp Trio"
Based on Jon Scieszka's children's books of the same name, this cartoon involved three boyhood friends who were repeatedly transported to different places and time in history, thanks to a shady AF book known simply as "The Book." (Yeah, seemed legit.)
Hosted by Terri and the late Steve Irwin, the nature show followed the Irwins on their ~wild~ adventures around the world, teaching kids about native animals. Crikey!
"Bindi the Jungle Girl"
Terri and Steve Irwin's daughter Bindi followed in her parents' footsteps and hosted her own nature show. She (and her dad) taught kids about wildlife and why conservation was so important for the ecosystem and our planet.
"Kenny the Shark"
NBC / Discovery Kids
Teenage tiger shark Kenny ditched his aquatic life for something beyond the ocean. For some reason — it was a cartoon, remember — Kenny was able to breathe and walk just like his human friends. It was a fish out of water story -- literally.
"Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls"
Teams redecorated each other's bedrooms based on the other group's interests. It should be noted that "Spy Kids" stars Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega guest-starred on the show to help promote "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over."
"Jeff Corwin Unleashed"
Jeff Corwin took kids on nature journeys, introducing them to exotic animals. The opening credits included lots of Corwin yelling in surprise at animals having zero chill.
"Strange Days at Blake Holsey High"
A classic, "Strange Days" followed several kids at a boarding school who investigated all the freaky things happening after discovering a wormhole located on campus. Yes, a wormhole. The show was one big mystery that begged the question, "WTF is going on here?!" It also starred a young Michael Seater, prior to his "Life with Derek" days.
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